I am writing a scientific paper. Is the sentence below right in the tense?

A classic example is provided by a model solved rigorously by Smith four decades ago.

The problem is, is the verb 'is' in contradiction with the 'four decades ago'?

  • 1
    I took it that the question was about tense, not number. And my answer is that the example exists now, so "is" is appropriate.
    – Colin Fine
    May 17, 2016 at 14:44
  • 1
    Think of it this way: The example is still valid and does still exist.
    – Catija
    May 17, 2016 at 14:46
  • 1
    I posted the wrong comment. Sorry. "four decades ago" is modifying "solved" and it has nothing to do with the verb "is".
    – user24743
    May 17, 2016 at 14:58
  • It seems correct to me. "A classic example is provided by a model (which is/was) solved rigorously by Smith four decades ago." . If you mean: a classic example is provided (by the writer/researcher) using a model which was solved...
    – user33000
    May 17, 2016 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


No, this is correct.

While the study was conducted long ago, this classic example is provided today.

The time frame of providing the example is current, right now, as you read it, so you use the present tense.

  • 2
    +1 Except among the radical literalists of the APA Publication Manual, texts which may be consulted in the present are deemed to "speak" to the reader in the present. May 17, 2016 at 15:13

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